If you are seeking to wow your customers then this Graphic Design Tools Online Series if going to do just that for you. This series comprises of graphic design tools online free and paid .
Looking for graphic design tools online then you must check out this series of canva alternative, grpahic design online software to create images and graphics for your blog or social media.
This post includes affiliate link and I get paid a small commission every time someone decides on purchasing the product they found through me. However please know that all that i share comes from my honest opinion and I was not contacted by the creators of stencil for this post.
You do not have to be a graphic design wizard or a pro any more to product awesome images and graphics online. Gone are the days when you had to go down the difficult route of spending hours struggling with graphic design softwares no there are plenty available online for free.
Today I am introducing you to Stencil!
No more spending hours on youtube trying to learn complicated programs to accomplish your everyday graphic design needs. Stencil is a very simple and intuitive platform that in my opinion is exact rival to Canva. Sometimes there are hidden gems found if you only know where to find them!
Ok so What exactly is Stencil and how this can take on place of your regular graphic design tool online?
Stencil as your online design maker
Create sleek images for social media posts, ads, blog posts, and more, plus organize your designs with custom collections. It doesn’t matter if you are a graphic designer, a personal Virtual Assistant or a Novice Blogger. We all know that sometimes the most time consuming part of doing business online is the creation of continuous graphics and we are always looking for free graphic design templates.
As soon as you login you are presented with a clean and professional interface that is much similar to Canva but in my opinion if Canva is still complicated then you might want to take a look into using Stencil. The interface is much cleaner and there isn’t much “noise” should you choose it to be your online design maker.
While Canva, PickMonkey and Venngage are great tools on their own Stencil can be your simplest alternative to any of these. The interface just comprises of free graphic design templates that you can edit with ease. There are a collection of quotes and icons library making it real easy to create something if the tech side of online graphic design tools scare you.
Quick and easy graphic design tools online
So the fun part here is that if you are a Social media marketers, bloggers, and content teams looking to make awesome graphics in less time then you are at the right place check out the video below with some detailed explanation by people at Stencil
Creating high quality graphic design and images is a breeze with stencil You can access gorgeous stock photos, dope templates, clean icons and graphics, artsy filters, and Google fonts that transcend Comic Sans (plus personal fonts you can upload).
Create amazing graphics instantly
Use various filters, icons, filters and fonts to create amazingly creative graphics instantly! And whoever you are ready you can share your creative work directly to social media. While you do that fear not the graphics will be saved to your library to be accessed later. This means that you can create graphic design templates that can be used over and over again.
Seamless integration and posting to social media
This one feature I swear can save you tons of time and while I was using Canva it really bugged me that their posting to social media feature is kind of wonky. When you edit the design it edits the scheduled post as well. Say what?? Well at the time of writing this post if they have made an update to this particular feature then kindly let me know !
So when you are done with creating a graphic design maybe for your blog post or your product offers, then you can directly choose to post it to social media. The social posting feature allows you to post to facebook , twitter, pinterest, instagram and guess what Buffer! . Now this is interesting as if you have access and direct add it to buffer you can schedule it to be posted across all your media profiles which ofcourse is another story!
Images are sized accordingly ! what else would you need?
Web browser connectivity an added feature
With add-on options for Chrome and Firefox along with a handy WordPress plugin, you can make magic right in your browser instead of waiting on slow process-heavy programs
Say what? Install the WordPress Plugin and create images from within WordPress as you create posts
Install the WordPress Plugin and create images from within WordPress as you create posts.
Add the Stencil button to your Safari toolbar and start creating images from anywhere.
Add the Stencil button to your Firefox toolbar and start creating images from anywhere.
Add the Stencil button to your Chrome toolbar and start creating images from anywhere.
Get a live preview of your masterpiece before publishing it to the world!
This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
It doesn’t matter if you have graphic design abilities or not , it doesn’t matter if you are a savvy artist , it doesn’t matter if you are a guru in art . You can start selling your Art on products starting today. And in this post I will break it down for you step by step!
Why sell your art on products?
If you are an artist then I would respond why not? there is a potential for you to sell your single piece of artwork many ways , by many ways I mean many many ways. You can sell your art as Art Prints , multiple times , you can sell the same art on T-shirts , Notepads , planners, coloring books , bed spreads , towels , door mats and ……..
The possibilities are endless, believe me when i say that as Artists , designers and illustrators we are already one step ahead of earning a passive income online. One step ahead of many many many people out there who spend hundreds of dollars before hand to get their hand on one artwork that they can sell over surfaces.
You have the basic skill as an artist that you can monetize very very easily. Leverage that ! .
if you are NOT an Artist fear not there are many ways you can acquire art to sell on multiple products , there are many people who are using graphics, cliparts and illustrations that I have created and are available to create products using them.
So Why would you sell art on products ? its leveraging your potential your gifts and earning passive income while doing what you love.
How to create and prepare artwork for products
First and foremost , google image search results are not your go to place to get art to produce on products. It is true that you can stumble upon wonderful high quality photos and images but they are not OK for commercial use. And if “stolen” artwork is used in creating and selling products you can get into trouble with the original creator of the art.
❣️ So where can you get art for products?
You can create illustrations and graphics yourself or you can get artwork from websites that sell art for use in creating products , You can get Art directly from the artists and pay them for commercial use of the design. A few of the websites from where you can get art from are stock photo websites. Some of these websites are
The resolution of the artwork highly affects the printing quality And the quality of the product and your end results really don’t want to sell something with a crappy printing over it if your 8 is a flow resolution then no matter how high level printing you use your product will not be the same. in short low resolution is equal to to a low quality product which is equal to you unhappy customers which is equal to losses in your business Plus more refund requests
❣️ Licensed vs personal use graphics
I have already discussed earlier on in this post about using licensed versus personal use graphics . when you are using licensed images you are most likely creating products that are unique and high quality. just remember that personal use graphics that are not licence for used commercially can be harmful to your business in the long run. so it is better to discuss with the artist of the image if you plan to use there graphics on surface of products.
My personal experience with an art licensing company that is still using my graphics over products leaves Asar taste in my mouth whenever this comes up. so in short this is how we respect the designers.
❣️Best dimensions for the artwork for best quality
When it comes to you preparing your art to place on various products the best dimensions to start with would be around 2400 pixels and above with 300 DPI at least. I always use batching hacks and scripts when I work this not only helps me to create multiple versions and sizes of files but also speed up the creation process
❣️ Speed up Product Creation for Printed Products using Printful
Life becomes so easy when you can easily focus on creating new art and hand over the job of printing to someone else. The printing company that I use is Printful . This website provides the templates and the dimension requirements for the images to upload and place over the products. There are many products you can choose from that best suits your art that includes Hoodies , t-Shirts , Art prints , Home Accessories , Kids and youth clothing.
I love using Printful’s Mockup generator to create products , think about it all you have to do is upload the artwork , the mockup the printing and shipping and delivery is all taken care of by this company Below is a Mug design that I created for Graphic Designer Moms. All I had to do was to create the artwork and place it over blank mockup file and download the relevant images to use in my marketing and in social media.
There are many companies that provide the service of printing the products and most likely they have templates you can download and create you are ready to print files.For example with Printful you can download template files with bleads where you can place your art and upload . This will help you get the best results. I always recommend vector EPS files as they can be and last without any restrictions of losing the quality of the final image.
Within printful you can choose to create product creation templates that you can reuse everytime you decide to create a new product this can be reused over and over again. Just change the image of the template and you haev a brand new product to sell online through your store.
❣️ How to setup Printful on your blog?
So What is the combination of other resources that I use to make the product delivery easy?. If you have a wordpress blog then all you need is woo-commerce as additional plugin , Printful plugin and a printful account ! as easy and simple as that . Printful easily connects with your online shop and seamlessly pushes the order to printful where it is created and shipped.
To some this will be a very basic thing but for some this is something that they really need help with , If you are someone who is new to blogging or thinking about setting up a blog ( Start a blog is very easy do it now ) or plainly want to set up a newsletter this post is for you.
For someone who is in the initial phase of doing business online setting up all these tech can be daunting and really confusing, it all seems like it is a BIG task that you need to accomplish and chances are you are putting it off to a time when you are free or when you have time in your hands. Well you are in for a treat you are going to set up a newsletter for free in just a few steps today and even have it all set up and installed in a few steps.
Here is what we are going to cover in this blog post
Why do you really need a newsletter ?
What do you need to do in order to get the most out of your newsletter?
Which is the best program out there for starters and Mailchimp alternative?
Where to get your initial subscribers?
3 steps you need to do before you start sharing your newsletter/
Why do you really need a newsletter ?
If you have a business online or are even blogging for fun, maybe you have an instagram account that is booming and maybe you have a facebook following or a group . You think that this is the best mode of communication with your tribe . But wait! These platforms are although the best places to get in touch with your clients or readers or community. But really you can not track how many of them are loyal to your content. How many and the other metrics like what people are clicking on and what are they most interested in . These metrics can be measured only by directing these people to your website or blog and Newsletter could be your best tool when it comes to learning more about them.
Having a newsletter means , you can send them periodic offers, product launches , News about the latest and when they forget to login to facebook you can always pop in their email account. Facebook , instagram and twitter can suddenly wake up one day to a totally new rule and maybe you get locked out or whatever way universe plays. You can loose your community .
What do you need to do in order to get the most out of your newsletter?
My top tip? frequency! yep stay connected with your audience with atleast 4 emails / month . 3 of which could be full of value and one with your offer. People connect with stories , share your life and share your struggles and also give them a chance to get specials through offers and promos .
I am guilty of not emailing much and I am also guilty of removing optins from my website because I was getting 100+ email subscribers per day, while I had no time to connect authentically with them. Authenticity is the key, my email open rate for some lists have been 50% which is considered Awesome by industry standards. This mean that people are reading your emails and connecting . AND this happens when you are sharing value rich emails.
Which is the best program out there for starters and Mailchimp alternative?
I use MailerLite other programs that I have used in the past and are free to start are
How i use tailwind as Pinterest Scheduler to increase sales of my digital products and increase traffic to my blog
I have been listening and reading about how Pinterest is a very useful tool to increase sales and to drive traffic to your products for a while now. And I read hundreds of blog posts on the same topic too. So I started experimenting with my own account on pinterst.
I was instantly able to double my online sales ! But following and sticking to a solid posting schedule was becoming a tough task. I found out that if I use Pinterst regularly and shared my each and every content on a regular basis to my own and other group boards I was getting a spike in traffic and sales.
In case you are wondering I have a product based business on etsy where I sell Wall Stickers and Wall decals. Also I have some digital products and illustrations that I sell through this website and through etsy as well.
I admit that although I had subscribed to Tailwind for Pinterest for while but I was not fully utilizing it to its full potential and capacity. I was never a fan of various schedulers until I realized that I really need a tool to help me keep myself sane . And since I had already noticed increase in my sales through Pinterest I knew it is time to take it seriously. The very first step within your blog is to optimize your pins for greater conversion I have covered this in one of my previous posts on where I share my on blog strategy to optimize my pin you can read about it here.
Below is a screen shot from one of my pinterest profiles and this is just the current month stats.
Do keep in mind that this post contains affiliate links and in case you decide to purchase anything using my links I will get a small commission from the service provider. However trust me that I only share tools services and softwares that I have myself used and enjoyed and found also found useful.
Since I started usingTailwind I have never looked back.
I am going to share a full walk-through of how I use pinterest to get blog and shop traffic below.
After viewing my analytics and realizing that the biggest traffic driving source is pinterest , I really needed to up my game and get serious about it.
I had been using boardbooster for a while now, and I liked it to the extent that it helped me ” Pin the pins for me” but once i decided to up my game I had to play serious!
My aim was to double my sales at that time my monthly earning from my wall decal business was accumulating to around $1200. I believe that creating amazing products is very important but then after the product is created 80% of efforts should go into marketing it and placing it in front of the right audience.
And since I knew my audience was hanging out over at pinterest. I had to take my leap.
I had previously signed up for the free Tailwind trial but it was only when i signed up for the initial month ( that gave me more pins to pin) I started seeing instant results.
Here are some of the reasons why I recommend Tailwind:
It is the only scheduler approved by Pinterest there are others like Viraltag, FriendMe+ and formerly Boardbooster, Hoostsuite but Tailwind is approved by pinterest.
It’s only 9.99/month with the yearly plan where you will get unlimited pins.
You get a suggested times optimized plan for your pinning schedule
You get access to tailwind tribes
You can create board lists and by categorizing your content you can pin them to board lists, this helps you to control the content when pinning to relevent boards.
You can use Smart Loops to create seasonal content lists, and when the season arises you have to take no extra actions and release seasonal sales , promotions and posts on autopilot.
Access to Analytics to better optimize your content sharing strategy this includes
Here are some of the reasons why Tailwind will help you gain more clients:
With increase in more eyeballs on your product you will be able to increase sales
You can have more traffic to your website
You can increase subscribers and followers
You can have tailwind set up once and then forget it.
Your posts will get published across all media while you concentrate on creating and working on new ideas
Tailwind Strategy that I use to increase Sales:
CREATING A POSTING SCHEDULE
One of the features that tailwind provides is the optimized time slots. You can create a weekly pinning schedule where tailwind will autogenerate time slots for you that best suits you. You will be asked to choose number of pins that you want to pin daily and hit create schedule and BOOM! youve got yourself a time based plan !. All the pins that you pin will be released to pinterest whenever the next time slots allows it to. So this means that you have a total control over number of pins and frequency of the pins that you want to push through Tailwind.
This is a screenshot from my Tailwind dashboard, you can access this from under the publisher tab on the left hand side menu. You have choice to choose how many pins you would like to pin each day. The green slots are the suggested times provided and set by Tailwind. And the green dotted times are Other suggestions that I can use with just one click!.
I also have the option to add time slots manually should I choose to do so , You will find a Add time slot button on left side in order to manually add time slots.
If at any later time you decide not to post on a time slot and delete it , no worries because the pin will automatically be shifted to next available time slot.
So how do you know when is the right time to pin, it really depends upon person to person and content to content. There is nothing to loose, I personally started with pins as less as 15 and increasing my pinning keeping in view the interaction that i saw on my pins. Currently my plan includes 50 pins per day.
BOARDS LISTS AND HOW TO USE THEM
WHAT ARE GROUP BOARDS?
The best thing you can do to increase eyeballs on your products , services or blog posts is to join various group boards. There are tons of group boards on various topics. So which boards to join? look for boards that have your audience, people who are likely to interact with your content, blog post or product. If your niche audience is mom bloggers then look for group boards where they will hang out. Use PinGroupie to find some boards and send them request to be added.
HOW TO FIND AND JOIN GROUP BOARDS?
The trick is to find high quality boards. I usually measure this by looking at the number of pins, followers and number of contributors. Most of the boards either require you to send them email , join their facebook group or simply leave a comment. Usually their descriptions will mention the process.
Another way to find good group boards is by spying on your competition, see which boards they are contributing to and you can join those boards too.
Al you have to do is to go to their profile , then to their boards list and scroll down to find group boards joined by them, the group boards have a round icon with sections.
USING BOARDS LISTS IN TAILWIND
Now comes the fun part , once your profile is connected to Tailwind you will be able to create lists of boards, they can be listed and grouped in various ways. You can list them in category, by subject or by interest. I like to keep separate board lists to promote my products, and a separate list to promote my blog posts. Again you can figure this out once you have joined a few group boards and you are aware of your audience. Where they are and what they are interested in .
Creating a board list is very simple. Go to “Publish” and “Board Lists” tab, click to add a new board list and organize your boards in categories. It’s so easy to sort out your boards and it will save you so much time in the future. Whenver you are ready to pin one of your pins to multiple group boards , the board list will come on top of list and you can simply choose from there.
Tailwind will distribute this pin to all the boards keeping in view your time schedule ( explained in detail below)
SMART LOOP FEATURE
Think about all the content that you have ever created all the product listings , blog posts , items that are currently sitting idle but could be working for you , driving traffic back to your website.
Smart loops makes it easy for you to find every piece of content that you have pinned from your website and find the best performing ones . it then recirculates those pins for you at the best times for engagement over and over again , so that you can get back to doing what you love creating
You can even setup seasonal loops that will circulate only at the specific time of the year . And smart loop will keep track of every loop and pin so that you can perfect your performance over time.
How to create a new loop?
Choose the name for the loop that you are creating based on the category of the items you would like to create looop for maybe it is a list of reciepie blog posts, graphic design articles , or your products. Then decide which boards you would like to share it to? you can include the list of all the boards ranging from your own and group boards. How exciting is this!
You will be able to pull list of group boards right here with just one click, or you can choose single ones as well. This will pull groups that are either yours , from a boards list or from your joined boards.
Next you will give it a time frame confine it to just a custom time of the year or all round the year. Tailwind will pull your best content and will allow you to choose pins of your liking so that you can add them to the loop.
How can you use it to drive sales for your products?
Good question right? think about it you no longer have to worry about creating and then worrying about your products sharing all the content again, you really dont have to worry about now. Just create loops based on your products categories and then loop them up. While you are busy creating new posts, new products or simply affiliate products they will keep on looping on auto to those boards for you.
HOW TO SCHEDULE NEW PINS USING TAILWIND
You can easily install chrome extension for tailwind once installed the tailwind button will appear over the images once mouse is hovered over them.
This is really simple, easy and fun way to schedule all your blog posts, your products and your content across all the social medial platforms. When you are scheduling you can add the same pin to facebook, twitter and sharing with tribe members for additional boost. I have found Tailwind as hands down the best social media platform !
Which platform do you use? would you like to try tailwind? get a free month when you use the link provided below!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links! I only share the products that I love and use and I may mention them in my post.
I struggled for a while really when the need to convert drawing to digital format arose. Being an Artist, it is really getting essential to get ourselves and our art online and sometimes really important to create vector files that are scale-able.
When I started workinig digitally, i right away started with working directly through illustrator and Learned the Basics of Vector to get started. If you have a blog or shop or website where you would like to sell your digital artworks ( Read my post on How to sell art online here ) or maybe just plainly want to transfer your work into digital format to color it digitally , first thing first , you need to get it into a line work that is digitally supported.
For digital Artwork , or maybe coloring pages you need to have a clean and crisp black and white line. Here is a little tutorial for really novice artists who would like to do that.
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Draw with pencil or directly whatever is comfortable for you , keeping in mind that what you are drawing will be scanned and digitally modified and manipulated. More crisp and clean line you have easier it becomes to convert drawing to digital format.
I like to start my drawing with pencil , once I am done with the basic idea , I like to switch directly to a black Fine tipped marker to fill in the details. As I don’t like to rework on my details 🙂 . So it is totally up to you how you draw but the lines must be Clean and Bold .
Nothing can be worst than finishing your pre sketch with pencil and when you start drawing you realize that your sharpie or marker is out of ink!.
Make sure that you have a well-filled marker that gives clean edges. Rough edges means MORE touching up after the artwork is digitally altered.
3- Scan high res
I like to scan my artwork on high resolution , you can ALWAYS go down but you cant go up and scale a pixel image . Also i like to keep my scanner settings to colored and NOT BLACK AND WHITE. Black and white scans give a line contrast that is too much to handle and doesn’t give a smooth line in a final black and white image.
4-Adjust Curves and Brightness.
Finally in Photoshop you can adjust the Curves and play around with the brightness and contrast to get a clean and crisp image quality.
Last but not the least , you can copy your final clean image Ctrl+A (select all) and place Ctrl+V (Paste) into illustrator and then trace it !
Result is a clean crisp outline that you can scale to any size you like WITHOUT LOOSING its line quality. Some additional steps you might want to take after the vactorization step is complete is to convert it to outline and clean the white area . I have explained cleaning the outlines in another post that you can Read about Right here.